"If you want to understand industry 4.0, you can't get past Germany."

Dr. Klaus Mittelbach in a short interview on the Digital Summit 2017

On June 12 and 13, Ludwigshafen will move into the centre of digital Germany: Experts from society, business, science and politics will discuss the opportunities and perspectives of digital change in Germany and the world at the Digital Summit. Everything revolves around the so-called Internet of Things and Services (IoT) and the role of people in the digital world. Industrie 4.0 is an important cornerstone of the IoT.

Dr. Klaus Mittelbach, Vorsitzender der Geschäftsführung des ZVEI
Dr. Mittelbach, where does Germany stand when it comes to Industrie 4.0?

In recent years, we have achieved a great deal with regard to Industrie 4.0. So much that the world looks to Germany today. This was impressively demonstrated at the last Hanover Fair. Meanwhile we can say: if you want to understand Industrie 4.0, you can't get past Germany. Our "Industry 4.0 Ecosystem", which is unique in the world, helps here: Platform Industry 4.0, Standardization Council and Labs Network form an exemplary industrial policy network.

Without us, the associations, this would not be possible: We are the decisive link between industrial policy, which creates the framework for Industry 4.0, and the companies that shape and implement Industrie 4.0.

Has Industrie 4.0 arrived in companies?

Industrie 4.0 has arrived on the market and Industrie 4.0 from Germany is perceived worldwide as a quality brand. This is also due to the fact that we have succeeded better than elsewhere in putting Industrie 4.0 into practice. Many companies of all sizes - small, medium-sized and large - are already working with concrete applications and are preparing the next step: Business models based on 'Smart Data'."

This creates new added value, and already today. We firmly believe that the mechanical engineering and ?Industrie 4.0 - Made in Germany': What must we do now, Dr. Mittelbach‚Industrie 4.0 - Made in Germany': What do we have to do now, Dr. Mittelbach?Much remains to be done. We can see that more and more concrete industrial 4.0 applications are emerging and - just as importantly - new data-centered business models. But this process needs to be accelerated and small and medium-sized companies need to be taken along as well. Because we know: Industrie 4.0 is also a topic at a rapid pace.

Industrie 4.0 - Made in Germany': What must we do now, Dr. Mittelbach?

Despite enormous progress, we are still quite at the beginning of digitization. Our innovation study "The electrical industry as the leading sector for digitization" from the end of 2016 clearly states this. Four out of five industrial companies are still in the starting blocks for Industrie 4.0. Companies in the electronics industry also generate just over 20 percent of their sales with digital or digitally enhanced products and services. On the whole, our industry is further ahead than others in the implementation and strategic orientation of digitization. It must be. After all, we deliver our solutions to the user industries. But the characteristic feature of Industrie 4.0 is that value chains change into networks. And there is much more potential here.

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